Author Archives: Kate Coffey

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In the past two years, my work in Nepal has expanded to the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation www.bomkarlsson.com and the Spinal Cord Injured Network Nepal. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in the north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.

Land at last, tis true!

Today is the 4th Anniversary of the first of two large earthquakes that rocked Nepal in 2015, killing 9,000 people and injuring over 22,000.  It left emotional scars that can never be healed.  It left thousands homeless, living under tarps … Continue reading

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Taking it into your own hands

Rishi, Keshav and the wheelchair community in Jorpati, have been pushing for their road to be repaired for over two years now (or maybe it is three years, I can’t remember).  Besides being exceedingly dusty during the dry winter months, … Continue reading

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Response to Bara District storm

As SIRC celebrates its 17th Anniversary, one of their more experienced nurses – Bishnu Ghimire – has travelled to the Bara District in southern Nepal. He is there to assist with the government’s disaster response to a devastating storm that … Continue reading

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School year is coming to an end

Many thanks to Keshav Thapa for providing me with the latest news of the SCI Hostel in Jorpati. As Program Coordinator of the SCI Hostel, Keshav is kept busy ensuring there is enough funding to not only house, clothe and … Continue reading

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Birthdays, New Wheels and Snow

It’s all happening right now  across the Kathmandu Valley. First up is Barun and Bandana’s recent birthday. Photo credit Rishi Dhakal. And then there was a new wheelchair for Bandana generously donated by neighbours SOS Children’s Village in Jorpati.  Photo … Continue reading

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2019 here I come

It’s been a busy two months in Sri Lanka, travelling the length and breadth of the country, working with young entrepreneurs who show a heartfelt passion for their country and belief in building a future for themselves and their children.  … Continue reading

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Not all play, there’s been work too!

I had a pretty busy start to my time here in Sri Lanka, thrown in at the deep-end, that’s for sure.  Within a day’s arrival, I had a 5am start to attend a training session for BIZ+ partners, on productivity … Continue reading

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